Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Twenty-Six: Live to Tell - Lisa Gardner

***Full disclosure: This book was provided for free by Bantam via LibraryThing's Early Reviewers group ***

Danielle - at age 9 - survives a drunken killing rampage by her father. Her memories of that night are sketchy.  She moved in with her aunt, went to college and became a pediatric psych nurse helping other kids who have experienced trauma in their life.

Detective D.D. Warren's date is interrupted by a attempted murder of a whole family.  All indications is that the father went on a killing spree with the family, but he messed up his own suicide. She meets her partners Phil & Neil at the scene as well as Phil's shadow professor Alex Wilson.  They start to investigate how the killings occurred and the evidence at the scene.

Victoria is prisoner to her eight year old son Evan who suffers with mental trauma.  She must lock up all her knifes and sharp objects so that he doesn't attack her with them. She sleeps drugs into his drinks and food in order to get a few hours of sleep.  But even after all the abuse, she still loves him and sometimes sees the loving son that he is underneath all the negative energy.  Victoria's husband and daughter left because they couldn't handle Evan's condition and how Victoria always put him first.  She gets to see her daughter Chelsea once a week for a few hours.

Danielle works with a new patient in the ward - Lucy - who takes on a persona of a cat. Lucy manages to escape the many locked doors in the pysch ward.  Danielle finds her outside curled up sleeping.  Worried she is going to lose her job, Danielle swears that Lucy or any other child will not be able to escape the routine checks her and the staff make. The next night Lucy wakes up screaming.  In her attempt to calm Lucy down, Danielle ends up being attacked by her.  Danielle struggles to keep her composure as the work stress adds to the stress of the upcoming anniversary of her family being murdered.

D.D.'s investigation leads her to the pysch ward where Danielle works.  The son in the murdered family was a recent patient and a possible suspect. Danielle points the detectives to a psychic Andrew Lightfoot.  D.D. & Alex question Andrew regarding the dead family. 

The next day another family is murdered again allegedly by the father. This family lived across town in a rougher neighborhood.  The team struggles to determine if there is a connection between the two cases. After a little investigation, they determine that the youngest child of the second family was also a patient of the pysch ward where Danielle works.

While D.D. and her team are investigating the second family at the pysch ward, Lucy disappears again.  The staff finds her in another area of the hospital - hanging from the ceiling.  Suddenly D.D. is wondering if these murdered families are a coincident or related to Danielle's past. As they continue to investigate they realize that there are more connections between the two cases than they initially thought.

Lisa Gardner wrote this book where each chapter is told from a different character's point of view.  At first I wasn't sure I saw how she was going to relate these different characters together.  Definitely a good read and full of witty dialogue.

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